A Friday Chat About—You Guessed It—Valentine’s Day

Deadpool Valentine’s Day commercial

Ester: Hello!

Nicole: Hello! Happy Friday! Happy Abraham Lincoln’s birthday!

Ester: Someone else’s too, dammit, I forget, it was on Twitter. Oh yeah: DARWIN. Happy Darwin Day! I wonder whether it’s appropriate that Darwin Day so closely precedes Valentine’s Day. Regardless, Feb 12 is clearly a birthday of genius.

Nicole: Judy Blume was also born today! And Christina Ricci! (I’m totally looking this up right now, of course. I don’t, like, know this off the top of my head.) How are you celebrating all of these people’s birthdays, Ester? Going to watch a little Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter tonight?

Ester: No, though my little brother did text this morning to say that he saw Deadpool and thought it was great and that I should write about it for The Billfold. (Me: Is it about money? Him: … Tangentially.)

Nicole: Isn’t it the same plot as Breaking Bad? Like, dude gets cancer, has to become Deadpool to pay the bills? 😉

Ester: I could pretend to have a clue, but honestly I do not, and why put in the effort. How about you? Do you have exciting multimedia weekend plans?

Nicole: Not really. I’m one weekend out from the JoCo Cruise, which means this weekend is all about getting stuff ready and getting ahead on all the work I won’t be able to complete while I’m gone. And probably buying a heart-shaped box of chocolates because I am an empowered woman who can buy her own chocolates and then eat them.

Do you do the chocolate thing on Valentine’s Day? I wonder if I do it just because I used to do it in the past, like, when my sister and I were kids our parents always bought us heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, and then a few boyfriends did it, and now I feel like I have to do it to “celebrate the holiday.” That’s what holidays are about, sometimes; re-doing the things you did when you were young.

Ester: Oh yes. And that’s so sweet, that your parents would buy you heart-shaped boxes of chocolates! My parents did not do that. My dad did not do that for my mom even. I remember one year on Valentine’s Day he accidentally broke a bottle of olive oil in the pantry and my mom had to clean it up. That was a low point. But even in an ordinary year, he wasn’t what you’d call romantic — and maybe because of that I’ve never really expected “romance,” either? Thanks, Dad, for setting me up with easy-to-meet expectations!

Nicole: It really is so much about what happened in our childhood, isn’t it. What we think Valentine’s Day or Halloween or any other holiday should be like. And, in my case, whether I feel like I need to buy myself a bag of sugar to feel special and taken care of.

Ester: I think it’s great, though, if something as simple as buying yourself a bag of sugar can accomplish that. Like, what an easy fix. All of our problems should be so straightforward to solve. In my case, Ben’s and my anniversary — our original one, when we started dating — falls right after V-day, when we bonded over how depressing that year’s V-day had been; so we kind of have twice the reason to let the holiday pass more or less unnoticed. If anyone had made either of us feel special on Feb 14, 2001, he and I probably wouldn’t have connected; and then we did connect, a few days later, and we get to celebrate that instead. (15 years!! Gee golly that’s a long time.) I think this year we’re going to some hipster play in Bushwick, but maybe we’ll throw in some after-the-fact V-day candy, bought half-price. 🙂

Nicole: Oh, I am excited to hear about this hipster play. Wait, I’m googling… are you seeing Last Hipster in Brooklyn? That sounds like it could be really interesting. “Jimenez signed on to produce and direct the show once he realized that Finn was willing to confront his own role in gentrifying the area.”

Ester: Ha! No, I can’t remember the name of it, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have “hipster” in the title. It would be more like an SEO keyword in the metadata.

Nicole: Well, I googled “hipster play Bushwick,” so that means whoever’s in charge isn’t doing a super-great job with SEO.

Ester: I’ll report back, perhaps, after the show. It’s one of those theatrical experiences where you walk around an old building that used to be a church or something and actors interact with you. Inspired by “Sleep No More” and the like. We did one a few years ago based on “Alice in Wonderland” and it was weirdly fun, once you got over the strangeness. And, appropriately, there were some “Eat This” and “Drink This” elements to the performance, so there we were, a bunch of strangers, obediently chewing in tandem as part of a scene.

Nicole: That sounds like a great way to do theater that would have no problems at all! I hope there was, like, an allergen list somewhere.

Ester: Hee! Yes, I’m sure, it being New York, there were plenty of lawyers involved. I don’t remember signing any waivers but I probably had to upon entering. Do you see a lot of theater these days? Does it make you nostalgic?

Nicole: I saw Book of Mormon a few weeks ago with friends. That particular piece of theater did not make me nostalgic. I do go see local theater sometimes and I keep thinking that I should get back into it, go to a community theater and audition, but I’m never in town for an entire month straight so I know I couldn’t make the rehearsals.

Ester: Did you like it, though? I remember laughing a lot in the second act.

Nicole: It was funny, but it was funny in a way that made me feel weird afterwards, like “I’ve just been laughing at caricatures of people and I am not sure I like that.”

Ester: Yeah, I hear that. The jokes were so easy. OK, before we part, I feel like we should share our best or most memorable Valentine’s Day stories. Mine probably is breaking up with a summer camp boyfriend by mail and adding as a PS, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” Which I honestly didn’t realize was a terrible thing to have done until later. Because I hadn’t meant it sarcastically, and yet of course that’s how it came off.

Nicole: I mean, my best Valentine’s Day story is going on a first date on a cruise ship. Also, I was wearing this gorgeous dress because it was Formal Night, the cruise always makes you go Full Formal once or twice, and it was just like… storybook fantasy romance time. How often do you get a first date where you and the other person are in formal wear and you’re on a luxury cruise?

Ester: I love it! It’s like something out of a live-action Disney movie for tweens. Also, my god, how many cruises have you been on? I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure.

Nicole: This will be my fifth year on the JoCo Cruise, and I just booked my stateroom for Year Six in 2017. Happy Valentine’s Day to me. ❤

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